Live updates: Moscow holds elections in illegally occupied parts of Ukraine; Drone strikes near Russian nuclear power plant

Live updates: Moscow holds elections in illegally occupied parts of Ukraine; Drone strikes near Russian nuclear power plant

‘No sustainable peace’ in Ukraine while Russian-occupied regions remain, Zelenskyy says

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks as he attends a meeting with Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar (not pictured) at Horodetskyi House, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine July 19, 2023.

Clodagh Kilcoyne | Reuters

Ukraine’s President Volodymr Zelenskyy said Friday that there can “no sustainable peace” in Ukraine — or Europe — until the country regains control of Crimea and other regions currently occupied by Russia.

“Without Crimea, without the Donbass and the occupied territories, there can be no sustainable peace in Ukraine, and consequently in Europe,” the European House Ambrosetti business forum in Italy quoted Zelenskyy as telling delegates.

— Karen Gilchrist

Russia has created an underwater barrier to deter attacks on the Crimean Bridge: UK

The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense said Friday that Russia has created an underwater barrier of submerged ships to deter attacks on the strategically important Crimean Bridge.

“Russia is employing a range of passive defenses such as smoke generators and underwater barriers, alongside active defense measures such as air defense systems,” the ministry wrote in its latest intelligence report, shared on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

The underwater barrier was comprised of submerged ships and containment booms, according to imagery captured on Aug. 29, the ministry added.

The 12-mile Crimean Bridge spans the Kerch Strait and connects Crimea with mainland Russia.

— Karen Gilchrist

Ukrainian drones attack Russian town near major nuclear power plant

A Ukrainian drone attacked a town in western Russia close to one of the country’s biggest nuclear power stations.

According to a Google translation, Kursk Governor Roman Starovoit on Telegram said that a Ukrainian drone had on Friday damaged the exterior of a building in the town of Kurchatov, close to the Kursk nuclear power station.

There was no damage reported to the plant, and no casualties were logged.

— Karen Gilchrist

British defense company BAE sets up in Ukraine

British defense company BAE Systems is establishing a local entity in Ukraine and has penned deals with its government to help ramp up its supply of weapons and equipment.

In a Thursday statement on its website, the U.K. arms maker said that it would work alongside Kyiv’s military to better understand its requirements while also exploring plans to eventually produce 105mm light artillery guns in the country.

“Signing the agreements and establishing a legal entity in Ukraine builds on our existing trust and support and paves the way for us to work together to provide more direct support to the Ukrainian armed forces,” BAE chief executive Charles Woodburn said.

The agreement comes days after Ukraine and Sweden signed a statement of intent covering the production, operation, training, and servicing of the CV90 platform, which is currently manufactured by BAE Systems’ Hägglunds business in Sweden.

— Karen Gilchrist

Moscow stages elections in illegally occupied parts of Ukraine

People cast their votes in elections held by Russia in illegally occupied parts of Ukraine, including Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Regional elections began in Russian-occupied began parts of Ukraine as authorities seek to cement Moscow’s control of what it calls its “new territories,” Reuters reported on Thursday.

The votes were taking place in Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson — four Ukrainian regions claimed by Russia since the start of its full-scale invasion. Alongside Crimea, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014, they account for almost a fifth of Ukraine.

In all four regions, Russia’s handpicked governors are aiming for full terms of office. Voting is set to conclude on Sept. 10.

Ukrainian officials have said the elections are illegal and indicate that it is impossible to hold peace talks with Moscow while its troops remain in Ukraine.

The exiled Ukrainian mayor of Mariupol, Vadym Boichenko, dubbed the polling a “sham,” according to Reuters, adding that there were no voter or candidate lists.

— Karen Gilchrist

Read CNBC’s previous live coverage here:

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